Meg vs the menopause
An icon of the nineties Brit Pop scene, Meg Mathews is a former music industry PR, events planner and designer turned entrepreneur and advocate for the menopause. Meg is currently an online columnist for Red magazine and was named by the publication as one of their Top 20 Career Shifters in 2017. In November 2018, Meg was awarded the Inspiring Public Figure of the Year award by the Inspirational Leadership Trust.
For the past few years, Meg has continued her mission on female empowerment and supporting women through the menopause. Craig Maplesden got to speak to Meg, exclusively, about her mission.
You describe your own personal experience of the menopause as the worst 18 months of your life. Can you take us back to those initial thoughts and feelings you had, and the realisation that you were going through this stage of your life?
I was very overwhelmed by life; I was full of anxiety and couldn’t leave the house. I went to a very dark place, I had no idea this was due to the lack of oestrogen, I just thought all my colourful nineties years had caught up with me. I had been to the doctor and I was prescribed antidepressants and the feeling just wasn’t shifting and I got very low. This was the realisation, the light bulb moment, that I was going through the menopause and it happened after I had been in my AA meeting and spoke how I was feeling and what I was going through.
As I was leaving the meeting a lady from the group tapped me on the shoulder and she gave me her number and said, “I think you are suffering with the menopause,” I thought to myself, God no, this happens to older women not me. I called her when I got home and identified everything she mentioned.
How much support was available at this time and did you feel like you were fighting this battle alone?
There wasn’t really much support, I had to go out and find it myself, I did go privately, or you can go into your GP armed with your knowledge and remember knowledge is powerful. I have lots of good guidance in my book to help women talk to their Doctors and what to ask for.
I did feel I was fighting a battle alone for a good 18 months. I didn’t really know as I kept going to my GP and they kept prescribing antidepressants, they didn’t put two and two together. I just didn’t think anything about the menopause, it was in my psyche and it wasn’t in conversation, I didn’t even think of Googling menopause for some reason I keep thinking I was down, and I need antidepressants. I then went to see Doctor Sara Matthews my private gynecologist, Sara did my bloods then prescribed me body identical Gel, progesterone and testogel. I was luck but I did have to go private.
How easy was it for you to talk to friends and relations about the menopause, and is this one of the biggest stigmas?
Once I knew I was going through the menopause, you know me, I say it as it is. I’m an open book and I like to talk about it and in fact I haven’t shut about in ever since!
You created ‘MegsMenopause.com’ to offer support, advice and to empower women going through this huge change in their lives. Who is the site aimed towards?
MegsMenopause.com is a site for everybody, every man, every woman, every dad, every grandad, every daughter, every son. Everybody can go onto the website and find useful information. This is going to affect everybody in our lives.
Would you therefore encourage the whole family to educate themselves and talk as a family about the menopause?
I would definitely encourage people to talk about it, to take the shame away, let’s take the stigma and taboo away. It is a part of life that every woman has to go through so the more we talk about it the more we make it a normal conversation and no more taboos that you are over the hill, if you have this you feel empowered and let’s get over this.
You launched ’The M Blend’ a couple of years ago, and then the ‘MegsMenopause’ range to help tackle menopause symptoms. What are the various symptoms that women encounter and how will the products help?
My whole range of MegsMenopause products are designed to help with the menopause and are dedicated to intimate skincare to make things more comfortable for women. We have everything from the Intimate Wash; a lubricant to help if you are dry and sore during sex; S.W.A.L.K Hyaluronic Acid Serum which helps keeps the skin moist and hydrated. The Rosey Rain spray helps with hot flushes; the Meno Blend contains the perfect combination of essential vitamins and minerals to improve the body’s internal strength and health combined together in one packet for ease.
I understand the products are also Vegan friendly and have not been tested on animals?
Yes, absolutely. Vegan friendly they are also sustainable, as the packing is made from sugar cane husk and there is only 3% plastic in the whole range (the bottle lids).
World Menopause Day is held in October (18th), what events can readers take part in and will you be taking part in any yourself?
World Menopause Day, I’m sure if you keep looking on MegsMenopause.com we will have something going on but because of the uncertainty of Covid we know we can’t physically get together, if we do something it will be on Zoom or videos.
Your new book ’The New Hot’ has just been released and is a no-nonsense and sassy guide that offers advice and the latest research into helping women understand the menopause. What do you want readers to get from the book?
So basically, I want it to be the menopause guide, the go-to book. It’s fun, beautifully designed, I speak honestly about all aspects of menopause, and we’ve also worked with all the best medical experts so everything you need is in the book. Once you have read it you can pass it on to your partners, children etc. There is also a section for Trans Men. I’m so proud of it and think it’s going to be a massive success and it’s a book every woman should have.
Finally, how are you now? Is the menopause something you continually have to manage?
I am human like everyone else so of course get days when I don’t feel 100% but most of the time as long as I sleep well, stay hydrated, do my yoga and meditate, connect to nature on long walks - I have a whole list of things I need to tick in order to keep me well balanced. A clean diet helps towards the management of the menopause. Yes, I have to manage it daily all this to make me feel amazing.
The New Hot
Published by Vermilion
RRP: £ 16.99 (Hardback)
"I want to break down the taboos and communicate frankly about the menopause ... This book is about giving you the knowledge of what to look out for and how to own it." Meg Mathews
When Meg Mathews hit menopause she was shocked at the lack of awareness, understanding and support shown to women - and also found the information available far too dreary. After getting her symptoms under control she became determined to help other women avoid an experience like hers.
The New Hot is her no-holds-barred guide to menopause designed to entertain and empower women in equal measure. It's full of Meg's personal insights as well as the latest information and advice from a wide range of menopause and lifestyle experts. Click opposite to buy
Click on the logo (above) to visit the
M Blend online shop
You can keep up-to-date with Meg's mission on the menopause via the links below